In leaps and bounds…

Do you know the beautiful word “Counterpoise” ?

I have learned that Longfellow used it when he translated the Divina Commedia to render in english Dante’s “contrapasso”; modern italian however also has “contrappeso” which is much closer to counterpoise, to the point I suspect most english wanting to indicate precisely that concept would (or should) use Dante’s word or its modern version “contrappasso”.

In fact, while a contrappeso is a mere counterbalancing of forces, a contrappasso is much more: it is a form of retribution doling back to you a dose of the same medicine you inflicted on others or its opposite. Dante is very ingenious in both flavors of the contrappasso: those who could not resist lust in life, in hell are buffeted by a storm, and those who always refused to take sides must now eternally run after a white flag.

In technology, contrappasso dictates that Microsoft, who undermined IBM’s dominance, slowly turned into a bloated, slow, boring version of Big Blue; Apple, who unlocked Windows’ dominance far more effectively than the DOJ is slowly becoming a close, proprietary, self-repeating shadow of MSFT.

Armonk –> Redmond –> Cupertino: I predict the next big technology company will be based in Florida. And remember, you read it here, first.

From linguistics to stock picking: I bet you thought it couldn’t be done.


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